About developing the education profession

Education Scotland is committed to supporting career-long professional learning for all practitioners across the education system. We work with a range of national partners and with practitioners to ensure that professional development is effective and impacts positively on outcomes for all learners.

Early learning and childcare practitioners

Professional learning is key to the effectiveness of all those who work in early learning and childcare (ELC). ELC practitioners include teachers, practitioners registered with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) providing children’s daycare services, and childminders, who are required to be registered with the Care Inspectorate.

Teachers and lecturers

Teacher professionalism and leadership are identified as key drivers of improvement in the National Improvement Framework (NIF). A coherent approach to career-long professional learning (CLPL) is essential to the concept of the enhanced professional. This involves teachers, as professionals, taking responsibility for their own learning and development, exercising increasing professional autonomy to enable them to embrace change and better meet the needs of children and young people. Professional development for teachers will be most effective when it is well planned and takes place within, between and beyond schools.

Community learning and development practitioners

Professional learning is key to the effectiveness of those who work in community learning and development (CLD). CLD is delivered in diverse settings and sectors by practitioners with a wide range of job titles, working with people of all ages. The workforce includes both paid staff and volunteers.

Parental engagement

Parental engagement is recognised as a key driver in achieving excellence and equity in Scottish education. The engagement of parents and families can help raise attainment for all and help to ensure every child has an equal chance of success.

Education psychologists

Every Education Authority (EA) in Scotland has an Educational Psychology Service (EPS). The size of the EPS is dependent on the number of children and young people aged 0 - 24 years in the authority. Services, therefore, range in size from up to 40 education psychologists (EPs) in large services to one EP in small island services. In Scotland, there are approximately 375 Full Time Equivalents working in education authority settings. Training to become an EP takes up to seven years: four years for an honours degree in psychology and a further three years for a Masters/doctorate in Educational Psychology. 

Educational psychologists provide a range of services as laid out by Currie in the Review of Provision of Educational Psychology Services in Scotland (2002). These are:

  1. Consultation
  2. Assessment
  3. Intervention
  4. Training
  5. Research and development

All of the above services are delivered to individual children, young people, families, schools, and education authorities. For example, EPs work with children and young people with additional support needs such as dyslexia and autism. They also work with teachers to help develop their skills in additional support needs and with EAs to develop policy and practice. Much of their work is focused on changing systems by building capacity in others to remove barriers that impact negatively on children, young people and communities. All of their work is underpinned by robust evidence-based practice.

Related links

Professional Learning and Leadership online resource

Early learning and childcare professional learning resources

Scottish Social Services Council

Care Inspectorate

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

National Improvement Hub